September 11

Posted on Monday 11 September 2006

Paris Parfait has an excellent entry for today. It truly expresses the difference between being an American and the American government—which has abused the tragedy of this day to hold on to political and economic power for itself. My thanks to Erin for the link. From Paris Parfait’s post:

No words adequate
to describe the emotions
brought to the surface
on this anniversary
pain and sorrow’s legacy

No words adequate
to extend our sympathies
to those suffering
unimaginable loss
zealots’ innocent victims

No words adequate
to bear losses inflicted
by faith’s perversion
preached by dividers of men
against uniters of men

No words adequate
to explain how one leader
took the world’s good will
and squandered it, choosing war
staining our reputation

No words adequate
to stress that we are not him
as Americans
we long for justice and peace
liberty’s strong foundation

No words adequate
to express how much we need
to overcome fear
and find common ground for all
one world united in hope

Bonnie, over at Frogma, mentions the media overload about the day:

The best thing about working was that it did at least keep my mind off of that morning when one minute I was wondering if they’d have coffee & danish at the outplacement workshop or whether I should buy some on the way up, and the next minute I was running from the most terrible noise I have ever heard in my life.

Been hard NOT to think about it this year, with the media campaigns stuffing the media takes down our throats. 9/11 The Movie! 9/11 The Miniseries! What do we get next, I wonder, 9/11 The Cartoon?

Sisiggy, over at Linguini on the Ceiling, also has a pretty good take on what we should be doing today.

The truth about 9/11 is that we will never really know what the government did or didn’t know about what the terrorists were planning. This day seems to be an excuse to re-visit the terrible events of five years ago. But does it really make sense to do so, especially on such a large scale as we have here in the United States?

Doesn’t re-living the terror and fear of the day really allow the terrorists to win. We really need to move on. I’m not saying that we should forget what happened on that terrible day, but we don’t need to glorify it either. Our lives go on, and we should not let the actions of the fanatics on that day change the way we live our lives, or they have won.

We have movies, television shows, television news specials, documentaries, newspaper articles, magazine articles, books, and more—all about what happened that day. Yes, the terrorist attacks were tragic, and the deaths of the people who died in them were sudden, unexpected and difficult to deal with by those left behind.

But, are those deaths any more tragic than those of people killed every day by drunken drivers or lost to a sudden heart attack or unexpected cancer? I don’t think so. In some ways, the only reason that we commemorate the deaths on September 11, 2001, is because of how unusual the circumstances of their deaths were.

Drunk drivers have killed far many more people in a single year—nearly 17,000 in 2004—than have died in all the terrorist attacks against Americans. Yet the government does relatively little to stop the deaths at the hands of drunk drivers, since they are so commonplace.

Cancer killed over half a million people in 2004. This is more than 100 times as many people as died in the terrorist attacks against the United States. Yet, the spending on cancer research is far outpaced by the money spent on the war against fundamentalism.

Again, what should the country be spending its money on. Should it spend vast amounts on the things that have very little return in terms of lives saved, or should it be spending the money on the causes of the most deaths.

The top fifteen causes of death in 2004 didn’t include terrorism, war or even violent crime. Relatively few people in this country are really affected by terrorism and the number of deaths caused by acts of terrorism is insignificant when compared to heart disease, cancer, strokes, drunk drivers, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, the flu and mental illness. Yet the current government seems to think that uncontrolled spending in favor of pursuing the terrorists, and any other countries or groups that don’t agree with them makes more sense than spending money on medical care and research. Which is more likely to help the American people in the long run.

George W. Bush’s actions and the actions of his government have put Americans abroad more at risk than ever. He has become the primary recruiting poster boy for Al Qaeda and fundamentalist terrorist groups world-wide. Does it really make sense to continue alienating the world, by pursuing an aggressive policy that doesn’t really improve the security of our country, and leaves our people more at risk, while bankrupting our country both financially and morally?

Greg Palast sums it up quite nicely in a recent blog post:

It’s been five years and the Bush regime has not done that. Instead, the War on Terror is reduced to taking off our shoes in airports, hoping we can bomb Muslims into loving America and chasing journalists around the bayou. Meanwhile, King Abdullah, the Gambino of oil, whose princelings funded the murderers, gets a free ride in the President’s golf cart at the Crawford ranch.

But Greg forgot about the part about confiscating our toiletries and soft drinks. Of course, what do you really expect from a man who would step on the American flag.

Update: Now more Americans have died in the War on Terror, than were killed on September, 11, 2001. Can we really say that the War on Terror has been working?  This isn’t counting the 20,000 seriously injured US military personnel, who are also casualties of the war, nor does it account for the 40,000+ Iraqi casualties of the war.  This is from a president who:

“told the CIA officer trying to warn him about the upcoming attacks that “you’ve covered your ass now,” and then went off to enjoy his vacation day.”

The war in Iraq has little to do with the War on Terror, and has resulted in more deaths due to flawed decisions by the Bush administration regime than the terrorists attacks did on September 11, 2001.

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